Rage 2 (PS4)

Having played the first game in this series of games, I had moderate hopes that it would turn out to be good. And by good, I mean that I think that it was worth the price. Most games fall under this category for me; though sometimes, it turns out to not be the case – see Black Ops 4, aka a colossal waste of money.

So with that intention in mind and eager to play a post-post-apocalyptic, I let myself buy Rage 2 at full price, and even with a pre-order as to get the bonuses. I preloaded the game two days before and at the midnight launch, burned the candle until the wee morning hours. I was immersed immediately into the world posed by Rage 2. However, and as with all titles of a shooting nature, I quickly found that the game delivers on gameplay and skimps out on story. You could say that, yes, this to be expected from the developers behind Doom. Yet, with what little story there is, there is a shimmer of hope in that tiny story – a very simple story. You, the last of the Rangers, are the only one able to wield magical powers given to you by the use of something called nanotrites. These magical powers, or as the game calls them, super powers, allow you to defy gravity or turn invisible, or run really fast. Basically, you become an overpowered player in a world ripe for you to sandbox in.

I fully beat Rage 2 in 28 hours on normal difficulty. By fully, I mean I explored every single part on the map and had maxed out every skill and weapon. I also beat the main campaign before doing so, and thus the game’s ending of “But there is still more for a Ranger to do” falls on my deaf ears. I’m done with the game. What I can conclusively say, is it was worth the price, and that I’d love to play a third game in the series but please make the storyline better than “go to place b, and murder/kill everyone”. The aspect that the game really excels on, and what kept me playing, was how FUN it is to blow shit up/kill the denizens of this virtual world. Every weapon has three modes to it, one mode from merely pressing the fire button and another from, normally pressing what is the aim button and then shooting. The third mode is when your character reaches overdrive mode, a mode granted by filling up a meter via killing. Once activated, for the next 20 seconds or so – depending on upgrades, you pretty much eviscerate everything around you while massively regenerating your health.

The weapons are pretty much the same weapons as from Doom with minor changes. And they are found hidden around the map inside things called Arks which are basically vaults from civilization at its prime. In addition to finding guns inside of these vaults, you can also find more of the so called super powers as well. Gameplay is then comprised of utilizing the guns to their full extent, along with the super powers, to wreck havoc on your enemies. And speaking of enemies, the foes range from standard bad guy shooting you to crazy mutant rushing you to giant ogre like monster with a health bar. There is also various cars and vehicles to be found, with the main vehicle being an indestructible object – only needing repairs when low health. This vehicle can be upgraded to fully unlock its potential. The best and fastest way to traverse the wasteland is with a vehicle and you eventually get a flying vehicle that cuts transit time drastically down.

The other aspect that was really well done was the world building and basically, the cinematography. Each viewpoint was a beautiful vista to behold, only marred by the bandits or mutants or whichever baddie you have to kill.

The negatives of the game are as follows:

  1. Yes, there is no loading as you traverse the wasteland but this leads to downgraded graphics in various NPCs. Each town does look unique but each of its residents feels the same and talking to them feels a chore.
  2. Story is not made an open world gameplay such as this. It is go to point a, b, c, and acquire d, e, and f. Then go to point g using what you’ve acquired and beat h – the main bad guy. With this kinda storytelling, I would have preferred a linear game.
  3. Lack of varied environments in which to do battle. Yes, there are different biomes such as swamp, desert, forest but the various buildings and arenas to fight in are bland and uninteresting.
  4. There is such a thing as too powerful and the game delivers that in spades. The downside is while you are having fun obliterating the enemy, you start to wonder if this is all there is.

So to conclude, I would say this is a good game; and with updates/expansions, there is the potential to expand upon what is good to become great. More enemies would be awesome and having new weapons and powers to add more variety would be ideal. It is by no means a terrible game plagued by microtransactions – which there are, but only for cosmetics (and these can be bought in game, with in game cash). But neither is it an amazing game. If I had to rate it based on a system of 10, I’d give the gameplay 5/5 and the storytelling and world building plus everything else, 2/5. It’s a solid 7/10 game for me.

Last takeaway: yes there are bosses, but they are very easily killed.

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